Stages of Development

ROI communities often work through stages of development but crossover is a common feature of progress. These stages offer a framework rather than a prescriptive template and are based in part on lessons learned during previous ROI rounds.

  • Community needs and assets vary widely and cannot be adequately supported by a one-size-fits-all model.
  • Capacity is often a significant barrier in rural communities. Resources and support should be delivered in an individualized manner to maximize impact.
  • Rural communities are diverse in thought, culture, experience, demographics, values, and vision. ROI recognizes this as an asset and favors projects that embrace equitable pathways to entrepreneurship for all members of the community.
  • Entrepreneurism has no geographic boundaries and naturally occurs in places with opportunity and minimal impediments to small business development.

ecosystem includes finance, business support, public policy, markets, human capital, infrastructure, R&D, and culture

Projects Supported by ROI

ROI supports projects demonstrating both a vision and a plan to address identified gaps and inefficiencies in their local ecosystem. Past projects that have achieved this include:

  • Launching Recipe-to-Market classes on business development and marketing of food products, hiring a branding expert to design and promote the sale of local foods, and conducting a study on the need and feasibility of a food delivery system to relieve the burden on small scale producers.
  • An assessment of the viability of a small pop-up retail district followed by its launch. In addition to bolstering services available to emerging businesses and expanding professional development opportunities via support from a venture catalyst, the pop-up retail district provided low-cost entry into the brick and mortar market for new entrepreneurs.
  • Hiring a business and marketing specialist to develop financial and organizational policies and procedures for a nonprofit artist community and business incubator to enhance business and commercial opportunities for Tribal craftspeople.

Learn about the communities and their projects.